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U.s. 17, United States 17, Brazil 14, Us 12, America 10, Obama 9, Washington 9, Mexico 9, Afghanistan 6, Chile 6, Ftc 4, El Salvador 4, Columbia 4, Japan 4, Colombia 4, Europe 4, China 4, The Ftc 3, Johnson 3, Russia 3,
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  CSPAN    Today in Washington    News/Business. News.  

    March 19, 2011
    2:00 - 6:00am EDT  

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what is going to happen with the fukushima plant? once the immediate crisis has passed, the japanese political leaders will remind the public that although the japanese people make the primary effort, the u.s. helped out a lot. the u.s. is the most influential in the short term, but there are other opportunities that we should be aware of. >> the second part of the ambassadors question -- are we doing enough to show our support? is it the visible enough? >> i would rather the japanese leaders be the ones -- i suspect we're not doing enough, but i think there is a media
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overloaded this point. we can take credit later. i hope the japanese leaders take it. >> is there something else we should be doing? >> they are looking for the gaps that could be killed. there is a possibility of outpouring from american organizations once it is clear what the needs are. some of that might be in the area of shelter down the road. but some of the most desperate needs come later, six months down the road when the tv cameras have moved on to the next emergency. sometimes that's sustained support can have more impact than the flashy initiatives. >> like permanent shelter. >> help with long-term reconstruction, it might be more effective. >> is there anything the united states could be doing that it is
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not? >> i don't think the intervention of this -- is the great significance but i think it is perfectly appropriate. there is no big challenge of the afghan -- economic side. the challenges on the human side to be dealing with the people that have been displaced. that is a completely separate matter. >> another question from the back. the lady. >> i am a historian of japan. i had a political question. criticism of the democratic party of japan for its handling, but there seem to be long term implications of the government. comparison being made with the earlier party. do they think the ldp would have done a better job? it seems to me that would pay half -- it would have to think that the other two would be
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better. >> the jury is not out on that question. >> still out. >> still loud, i am sorry. [laughter] i think they have a tremendous opportunity to prove that they are capable of being a ruling party that is as good or better than the ldp. if they fail to meet that challenge, then the sentiment will grow that maybe the ldp is the only one we can rely on, whatever their faults. >> i asked partly because i have a friend who is a supporter of the jdp and i think she's come panic richer -- comparing their reaction with the earlier party.
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i think she feels that they are at least trying to do better than the ldp and terms of getting the affirmation out. would you agree with that? >> i am not close enough to the information to know. i appreciate the difficulties of getting the information needed in this difficult fukushima situation. >> robert warren. as i understood your comments, you see this as a wash as far as the impact of the economy in the long term, perhaps a decline by 0.5% in the short term. could you address the resilience and growth of the japanese economy and the need for restructuring, the greater
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competitiveness, and greater enthusiasm? what would be the impact there? >> you might say this gives an opportunity, a little bid, to see if the government could come up with a policy to build public confidence. you could use that as a basis for moving on. the problem in japan is a deep one. it is not like people in the united states have all lot of ideas about how to solve the japanese economic difficulties. the concern here in the united states is growing that we are headed down the same road. we are facing a lot of the same stagnation problems after the financial crisis here that japan has had in adjusting to the one in the 1990's. but they do need some leadership and develop some and that -- effective economic programs.
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there may be some stimulus to the fact that would come from this. ative effect that may come with this. i have heard no successful idea on how to get the japanese economy growing again at a rapid pace. we are all puzzled about the fundamental problems that hold the growth back. .> there's no boz worth plan >> no, i think the remarkable thing about japan is that 25 years ago, everyone. it did japan for its incredible high rate of saving that they had. that -- everyone pointed to japan for its incredible high right of savings. now it is less than the united states. in the last three years, physical investment by the household sector,-, by the government sector, negative,
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the business sector, negative. the justice not seem to be in the energy and the japanese economy -- there just does not seem to be any energy in the japanese economy. there is not a strong spirit of entrepreneurship inside japan. they are stagnant as to new business ideas. how you get that going again? >> is it possible the disasters could stimulate that type of energy, the engine of rebuilding? >> it is possible. leadership is required, good ideas, incentives. i hope that the political leadership will seize that opportunity. but i see the danger of just going back to business as usual.
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>> i think there was a question on the side. yes, sir. >> in the context of the question that mr. togo had any impact on the security alliance -- i am sorry? i am from the pentagon. the impact that this will have potentially on the defense policy realignment initiative and the restructuring of all the forces in the west the city, principally in japan, okinawa, and the movement to guam, and disaster relief operations in the mainline -- it is been very difficult to judge tangible progress from the government of japan on this large realignment initiative. do you anticipate this crisis as j in thest for the dgo
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upcoming talks clean the slate and start all over? will be the impact? >> it is a great question. but there is that the japanese government, political and bureaucratic, will be focused on the issues like relief reconstruction that they would not have time to face what is politically controversial in japan. we have the road map agreed to five years ago, basically. very little progress has been made. there were setbacks. ambassador togo referred to the use of assets on okinawa.
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and for the american contribution here, and that is probably not trivial. i hope that improves the environment. i think americans have also learned in the last couple of weeks that it is better to say not -- say -- better not to say too much about okinawa at all. >> i noted two things. the first thing is that president obama nominated a secretary, after the nuclear crisis, the markets of europe dropped more than the stock
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market of the usa. [unintelligible] my colleagues also want to ask you another question. the prices -- >> do you want to talk about energy policy? >> in europe there is a severe impact. you've seen mrs. merkel come out strongly about not only inspecting a number of reactors but now going further in saying that perhaps the old german nuclear program should be phased out over time. you've seen negative responses in sweden, in italy where they
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were just beginning to reverse longstanding nuclear policy. i think the u.k., you will see continued -- they have a very vigorous program, mainly because they cannot meet the climate change gold using wind alone. they have to use nuclear and wind to reduce their dependence on coal. france and belgium, they will continue nuclear. the former soviet union, eastern european states, the combination of reducing -- the baltic states for example, and the balkans, they want to reduce their dependence on russian gas. and also to get away from their dirty coal. i think you will see them continue to push slowly for nuclear. the united states, we get 20% of art --the united states could set -- gets 20% of its power from nuclear power. because of the slow growth, i
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think that between retirements of eight -- aged facilities, we will be lucky to keep that 20% 10 of 15 years from now. >> and natural gas? >> that is also 20%. we could raise it to 35% of electricity, some say. and keep it there for a long time. >> the u.s. economy? >> almost no impact whatsoever. stock markets go up and down. they always overreact. i would not pay any attention to them. one way or the other. >> a common view. >> the only thing that makes sense is that it drops the most, -- the japanese stock market drops the most, but if you took seriously their estimate of the cost to japan, to claim that the wealth loss was almost $1 trillion. that is clearly not realistic at all.
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the drop has been too much. one reason is that the market has been then. -- thin. there is not that much confidence in it. in europe, there has also been a drop in the stock market, but the same story. the u.s. stock market has been pretty resilient. nothing -- nothing much has really happened. maybe it is unfortunate, but japan is simply not a big market for the united states. we do not export much to anybody anymore. in particular we do not export a lot to japan. we worry about japan, it is too soon about a big interruption to our electronic and automobiles supplies. i do not expect that to happen. i do not think that what goes on in japan will have a big effect on the u.s. economy. >> yes, sir.
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>> there's not much talk about the radioactive effect on human beings. the radio act cavity in the air and in the mark -- and in the ocean, should we monitor it -- the radioactivity in the air and in the ocean, should we monitor it? and also, that food chain, the fish in the food chain, for the radioactive material? and also, over the years, there is a province in the rigid there -- there is a problem in russia, in france, in argentina, and now in japan. should the i e a e have oversight -- the i e eight -- iaea have oversight of these
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countries or gerard >> in terms of radiation monitoring. we have a sophisticated global system to register changes in radiation. most of that was developed against the potential for atomic weapons, but it can pretty well picked up what is happening. within japan, there is definitely concerned about the food chain. has this incident that's worse, the first place it authentic -- as this incident gets worse, the first place it often hits is dairy products. [inaudible] >> it is going all over the world >. >> oh, i am sorry. nearby radiation events, the first concern is about dairy products in terms of the food chain. as this radiation goes over the world, the amount that we're
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talking about, at least from what we think is going to happen right now, is infinitesimal by that time it reaches any other land mass other than japan. but it could have a serious impact on japan, were to get noticeably worse. we are not expecting -- there was an erroneous report that it would hit southern california and move toward calif -- las vegas. that was not issued by the organization that it was said to be coming out, a very prestigious organization out of australia. that was on the internet. it was not released by them. it has been discredited by but the australians and the international atomic agency. the iaea, i am not sure where you want to extend their authority. we tried to get a proliferation stan. under their protocol. -- proliferation standpoint under their standards. the right of their inspectors to make snap inspections
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without warning of any nuclear facility in a country. but in terms of saying that they should have authority over all radiation, environment, and in local countries -- >> [inaudible] make sure the country does the right thing. if they get it from the ocean and given back to the ocean -- >> the iaea has no authority over questions like that. they can advise on safety, on greater knowledge of radiation potentials. >> [unintelligible] >> they do not have the authority. whether they should have that, that is a good question. but you have to modify the treaty to give them that enhanced the authority and
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getting it hand -- members to agree that they have sovereignty -- that they were willing to give up sovereignty in that area. a very interesting question. >> let's go for another question here. thank you. >> of richard, american chemical society. can you comment on the engineering or the shoddy engineering in some cases in terms of the nuclear facilities, and also in terms of the preparedness at the nuclear plants from the robbers are issues -- from the observations? i know it is early yet. >> this was a very old set of reactors. ernie -- early elements of general electric. the ball and water reactors being built around the world today are barrett -- boiling water reactors being built to run the world today are very different. much higher containment standards. you cannot compare a reactor
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built today or five years ago to one of these plants. you can certainly question -- i question the word shoddy, but you can question the elevation of the pumping station. that would be wiped out rather than having them on higher ground. water does float downward if you direct it that way. that design, we now know, was challenged by the atomic commission back in the 1970's. at the time, because it was a new fledgling industry, it was decided that it would be catastrophic to require the nuclear vendors to completely change their design, because we were trying to get the industry taking off. the warnings out of the agency were not heeded. in terms of safety, there is not any country that has a better record -- maybe the united states, but japan has an
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extremely fine record on paying attention to safety and evacuation, and obviously on earthquake protection. the earthquake did not trigger the reactor accident. it is always easy to second- guess. we may find down the road that there were mistakes made, but right now, it is premature to suggest that we know that for sure. >> there was criticism at the time it was built? >> several memos have certain -- have surfaced. they both warned that this design in a catastrophe could be big problems. >> what about location, charlie? on the coast. we have a few nuclear reactors right on the coast. >> in japan, the problem is there is not a lot of spare land. we try to put reactors on the coast, particularly if you're shipping components for construction, it is easier to
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land on the coast. you're talking about big vessels and tubes, you put them on the back of a flatbed truck, you disrupt the entire communities. even if you can get them for. -- through. this is why we tend to build reactors predominately near the coast. it is easier to ship out if you go long term nuclear waste repository, you can ship it out without having to trends that -- without having to transit the dangerous fuel through popular to predict populous communities. you do not -- through populous communities. you do not want to do it with their art cinemas earthquakes. with areas with some nominees and earthquakes. -- tsunamis and earthquakes. >> i want to thank the panelist
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s for their very informative views in this regard. we wish the japanese people all the best in coping with this horrendous disaster. thank you all very much. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> next the discussion on the future of consumer communications. then hillary clinton. after that, david petreaus on afghanistan. tomorrow on "washington journal" the latest on libya. a discussion on how the trusted
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travel initiative would work and what it would mean for travelers. and tax filing tips from a certified accountant. live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c- span. >> if you recall in the 1960's and 1970's, we were writing from a different america. >> major burris this leaders on how new york regained a major position. >> with wall street's reemergence, wall street was pulled into the global economy and became america's gateway to that economy, and has prospered ever since. >> watched the interview sunday night on c-span. >> the consumer federation of america have a summit meeting in washington, d.c. this week. the subject of one panel was how communication has changed with the presence of the internet, mobile devices, and social networking. also covered, online privacy.
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experts from microsoft and a rise in to play -- took part in this one hour, 20 minute event. >> i think we're going to get started for this morning's panel. it is entitled "the future of consumer communications." we're glad to hear your critics see you here on a friday morning. no place better to be at this panel talking about this issue. in recent years, we have seen an explosion in growth of devices that consumers use and the way that the uses them, whether facebook, twitter, video. more and more consumers use devices in different ways to access information, to send information, whether e-mails on their laptop, watching video on their ipod or ipad, or tweeting on their mobile devices,
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consumers are using devices in different ways to not only receive information, but also to send him permission. what does this mean for the future of consumer communications? we have four great speakers to talk about this. their biographies are in your packets. i will give the highlights. here we have talking about the issue. first we will have lee rainie, the director of the american life project. the pew research center is a non-partisan think tank s studies the social impact of the internet. lee has been there since 1999 working on these issues. after him, we will have the vice-president of the internet technology and policy of horizon's communication. following link, we will have elizabeth grossman, at microsoft
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corporation. and finally, batting cleanup will be dr. -- [laughter] dr. mark cooper you all know and love from consumer federation of america. >> we need to get on base and the cleanup batter drives demand. i like that relationship. and it is an honor to be here and part of this wonderful panel. i thought it would quickly run through the three revolutions that have taken place on our watch at the pew internet project. we've seen three big things happen. we're about to see a fourth revolution occurring. and all talk a little bit about the consumer environment in the context of that. the first revolution was the internet and broadband revolution.
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if our first survey in march to thousands of the 46% of americans were on the internet. now the 79% of adults. a group from 73% of teenagers in 2000 to 93% of teenagers now. broadband is a part of that story. we watch the switch from the dial-up environment to the broadband environment. different kind of internet users as they transition to that higher speed experience. they got more out of the internet, they did more, spend more time, reported better in -- outcomes, and they became content creators. there was something about the fast connection that empower people to tell stories, share the things that they knew, create of culture on the run, become broadcasters and publishers without paying any of the necessary these are doing the legal work that people in the legacy industries did in
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those fears. -- in those spheres. so the spirit of creating content was interco to the broadband experience. right now, -- was intregal to the broadband experience. 67% of adult users create content in one way or another. 75% of teenagers create content. there is and expectation that people will share their experiences with others. the second was the mobile revolution in 2002-2003. right now 85% of americans own cellphones. 57% of americans, more than half, connect to the internet wirelessly, either through smartphones or through the mobile card in their laptops. a majority of americans now get their information at the ready in their pocket, in their purse,
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or in the devices they carry with them. real-time information, real time research, it became an expected part of life. the app culture is very important. in a survey last april that we will repeat this april, we saw that 35% of americans and apps, but only 24% cite use them. people are buying smart devices, but not everyone is capable of using the apps on their mobile devices. it will be a big part of the story that unfolds. you might remember a story in appalled 2009 that said the web is dead, long live the internet. people are potentially moving to
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an environment where trusted relationships with information and media sources are coming back into the picture in a way they had not been in the web- based wild west of the world wide web. the third revolution is the social networking revolution, which tracks with the mobile revolution. 40% of all americans use social networking sides. 62% of internet uses use them. people over age 50, not just of the main for young people who are tech savvy and have all of their friends, now their parents' are with them. it is -- it is freaking a lot of kids out. it is great for social research. but an important part of the story for consumers, one of the core ways that people are responding to the more
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challenging informations in farming, with the velocity, the variety of information increasing in their life, they are falling back on their social networks in three ways. first is that social networks are really important for pictures. people watch their face but pages or read twitter to find out what their friends are reading, important stories that are taking place in the world that they care about, and using it as a gay keeping function that traditionally newspapers did. social networking does that. they are valid debtors of the reformation. when people in counter information that they want to will understand more deeply, or it confuses them or disrupts the world that they thought operated, one of the things they do is that they ping the smarter people in their network and ask
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if they believe it is true, and if so, what weight should i sign it in understanding the world? is that a richter won the type of fat or richter 10 type of fact? credibility and information assessment is taking place in social networks and the way it did not take place before. the final is that there's an audience for content creation. a lot of people are preaching to their friends. it is broadly understood, people in their social networks are people to evangelize or to collect evangelizing. they have things that they want to say and by god, they are going to say them. the new things that we're looking at our location-based services. we have a hard time asking
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phone survey questions. we change some wording and that 17% a month later. where killed trying to figure out what is going on with foreswear and mapping services, but it is still part of the mobile services that people are having with their smartphones. checking in with places, sharing the information that they know, checking with their friends are. the second big thing on our radar now is what we call consumer cartels. groupon, empowering consumers, changing the way some businesses and the relationship about pricing and access to information. we are paying attention to that. i will not step on other people's stories, but confirming
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what they are saying, the rise of the internet, smart systems, it will be an important part of the story. our environment is going to be feeding data back to us. he probably will not be in the middle of those communications, algorithms' making decisions, and more toward the biases and more and more things get linked together. that will be a major part of the consumer story. the hallmarks of this new era that we're looking at our blanket experiences. it is not like everybody is doing everything on their mobile phones or internet or space defense. they're doing all kinds of research in all kinds of ways that are allocating some elements of research to the internet or the mobile device. but there turning to their friends and salespeople in stores to get other reformation.
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it is blended in that way. there more people here want to augment reality, they want to check on pricing comparisons when they're literally get up. the purchase, and they are -- when they are literally at the point of purchase. people are getting at the end stage of making a decision for expensive decisions, they are reading consumer reviews, and giving weight to them. and the final thing i will leave for you with. -- i'll leave you with. the critical unknowns about the future is what will happen to privacy and identity. mark will probably speak more to some of these issues, but it is the rapidly changing environment. there's probably a privacy bill of rights coming out of the administration. it will be interesting to see how much is allocated to the
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private and public sectors. from our data, we see that people are in their own engagements, social and commercial, the new terms of their engagement is a reputation management. they are not so much -- they are taking it as a given that sharing brings benefit with them. sometimes with their purchasing behavior. in many cases, young people are quite comfortable disclosing a bunch of stuff about themselves and sharing what they now, but they're very conscious of how they present themselves, or how they are represented on line. they are monitoring themselves with google and all sorts of things like that. they are asking mostly their friends to adjust the tax that they put on pictures or the way that they are representing people on-line, because people know that college admissions
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officers are looking at this, future employers, significant others. that is the new sensibility been brought to the marketplace. that is the panoramic view from pew and all be happy answer questions later gary and -- i will be happy to answer questions later. >> a famous quote that i like a lot, especially when you talk about the future, it keeps you humble. the future is not what it used to be. i like that because it means that although we can get a snapshot and have a sense of what these things might mean, we're not as smart as we think we are when they arrive. these are some of my thoughts of where i think we're headed and
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what kind of things will be demanded by consumers and what they're doing with it. but it may be totally different. we do not know how consumers will use these. the industry is driven with what consumers decide to do with products. we do not know that until they actually start using them. quickly what i will cover, and i will not go into debt, but that to that we ignore when we look at trends is the demographics issue, our society is changing demographically, that has a big impact, and also interfaces, batteries, and power. they made a big change not just in the mobile aspect that lee talked about, but actually what you can do when you were going mobile. demographics -- more southern and western, more hispanic and asian, board digital age than industrial wage.
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these are some of the trends that suggest to meet that they're going to be more more connected. over time, more people will naturally find this to be the world they know how to operate in. another aspect in my generation, 57, baby boomers are becoming bolder. ice think you will see a lot of applications they use technology like in areas of health care. an 97-year-old grandmother, we had to take care of her full time. it's unfortunate that she passed away a few years ago. iowa like to of had a lot of video connections with my doctor and we did not. i think the what changes the baby boomers get older. there is diversity in this market. when you look it how people use the technology, sending and receiving text messages for
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example. things like getting maps or directions. these things are being done more. they're not is being done by the majority of population, but also blacks and hispanics heavily using the technology. it is happening at a lot, a lot more than we understand today. that is a big driver of these industries. it would change how people interact with each other as they become exposed to more populations through twitter or other kinds of technology. mobile, we talked about as being a big part of the store. it is also that they are more capable than area. video is really possible on mobile devices. the networks are getting more capable. we are deploying and they were today that will have -- it already has been deployed to 100 million people, and by the end of 2013, at 2014 come of those
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networks are faster than the fastest dsl network and will deliver 15 mb down. that change is how people use the technology. the amount of traffic that people think is going to be going over these networks is mind-boggling. if people are creating content as police said. they are sending it the other direction. -- as lee said. they are sending it the other direction. it is not just creating things on you too, but it is contact -- content between two people, conversations. it is not just about watching movies. one of the other drivers is the devices in the homes connected more and more. in 1919 s -- in 1966, there were not many options for different
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kinds of media. newspapers, magazines, party much all analog, paper-based. they could not connect and send the affirmation back and forth. they were standalone applications. if you go to the top, not only the you have more devices in the homes but many are digital if not most. they're connected to your home network. you can take a u.s. be devising connect from one to the other. -- a usb device and connect from one to the other. the more kinds of things that you can do with them and the more types of applications that you will be using. another big driver is the internet of things. when we talk about this, it sounds impersonal but it is not. for example, people talk about censers in devices.
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maybe he will have a device on your refrigerator telling you when to get milk. that is not the type of uses that will be the most important. you can have some on your electrical system so that you do not have fired because of happen, and you can send that information either to your repair people or you can get it on your cellphones, there is something happening with your electrical system. that is quite valuable. which is headed demonstration at the consumer electronics show a car outfitted with the latest generation of on star capabilities. one simple idea is that camera mounted in the back in the car and one in the front. if someone backs in to you when you are not there, it takes a picture of the license plate and since the to your cell phone. [laughter] that is pretty neat. there's someone actually in a parking lot, they look up,
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everyone is watching. all right and notes and they write the note and put it on the windshield. everyone is watching me, i'm supposed to leave a note, so here is the note. that cannot happen with this technology. it's important to me in the way that these devices interact with humans. they have not been as human- centric as they should be. the kinds of ways we can now interface within use the devices are changing dramatically. a few years ago, all we had this keyboard and mouse. today you have touchscreen technology, translating real tight, police technology much more possible, and think about the capabilities for disabled people in particular. they are transforming. to me, one of the biggest advantages has been battery power. not only improves the that you have devices that can run all
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day, and these are computers, tablets, not just smartphones but also have remote charging technology beginning to be advanced. he made his be above this white. device over some large device that will recharge your phone or your tablet for a short amount of time. -- you may be able to swipe your device over some larger device that will recharger phone order tablet for a short amount of time. it you look on the left side, the number of global uses of social networking that passed the number e-mail uses for the first time in history. e-mail has been static in terms of growth, but not social networks. they are sending e-mails but they're doing it within the context of a social environment
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that is much more identifiable. you know the people and they are communicating more readily. and the technology is being driven by a number of underlying technology aspects that is made our industry more and more capable of doing the. computing power, everybody knows about. storage power is a big part of it. it is getting cheaper all the time. the power of the communications network has been doubling every 20 months. it can from 768 kilobytes a second in 2000 to networks that can deliver 150 mb to people's homes. it has increased dramatically and will continue to, especially on the mobile side. as we get more spectrum, we will see more power on the mobile side. and the way that we to communicate with each other for commuting to 80 -- computing
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devices has changed. in 1960's, mainframe technology were basically centralize. you couldn't do a lot on your desktop. today, and everything has a server, mainly in the cloud, the web, but we are sharing more ready access to information. it has changed dramatically how people use the technology. you will see a dramatic increase every cycle. it makes it more consumer- friendly and more democratic. one of the things that has changed about our industry, the consumer trends, the device capability, the capacity of the network -- we have competition and choice much more available than it was before. we think -- we tend to think of competition in the broadband spectrum being landlines, or larger carriers and wireless. but it is more complex today.
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our ceo's said a few weeks ago that he cannot be done by one company any longer. you have to collaborate with other providers. we do not make application software is, we do not make the devices. they use are made by other companies. in many cases they like and they were better than others but it might not be the driver. there are a lot of factors that go into consumer demand today that make competition much more complex and much more vibrant than is depicted in some of the analyses of our industries. this symbolizes it dramatically. if you look on the left-hand side of this come up those networks are essentially analog. they were single purpose and could not do much more beyond what they were designed to do. even the telephone network was
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very low capacity. all of that has dramatically changed. when a consumer looks at the choices they have not only in applications in communications but also the networks, they have much more choices. we have to work with other companies on a collaborative basis to offer the products that they most. -- that they want. the one our service but because of another app. the consumers are really more in charge. they are driving the market ala more than was possible in the past. i would not want to predict the future but i do want to look at some trends in where we have gone. if you look on the left-hand side, if you look at what kind of networks were, some of these things do not even resonates with people. remember portals? they are not even discussed very much now. you look to some of the trends that are industry, we do not
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think of them as having for other industries. but search engines, they are easy to use access to different kinds of services that you won. it is actually on your phone already. so they do compete with search. skype is actually a voice service that competes with other boys services on mobile. we also have apps, they do not have to buy our text messaging if they do not want to. i think that we're leading much more to an environment where consumers will be mobile the active and most importantly they will be increasingly driving a lot of what the content is. twitter, i access it morning and
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night to see what is going on in my discussion groups, it is really another form of search. instead of searching on google, you spit it out to your friends and say, i am looking for a lot of good places to eat. you will get five vs recommendations that are usually quite good. it is really about the social network trends. thanks and i look toward to the discussion. -- ford to the discussion. -- forward to the discussion. >> good morning, everyone. i will tilt this down although a bit -- can people see me?
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i really short. i will stand on my toes. i am from microsoft and i am going to build on what the previous speakers have said before. i am here for microsoft research. the disclaimer that link made, it is a lot of fun. i'll talk about things that are further out that may or may not be true. but they can be thought- provoking. again, everyone seems to have their favorite future ". tomorrow looks like today, but the day after tomorrow looks nothing like the past. i am going to talk about the past of computing.
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it-liz started in the 1940's, a relatively new science. one of the things that characterize the first three or four or five decades of computing was scarcity. we heard about this. computing power was very expensive, storage was very important, and so you spent a lot of computer scientist time on being more efficient. can you think hard about what information needs to be stored and how will we access it? is spent all that time tackling the problem. but they're very smart and hard- working and all that was suddenly the price of storage going down, not only get this
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since he has gone down but the size has gotten smaller and smaller. all the sudden we have gone from this era of scarcity to basically an age of plenty. congratulations. now we have more storage than we know what to do it, more computing power, and going back to the computer -- content creation, more information than we know what to do it. in one sense, but yay, and the other, what are we going to do with it? the internet -- not only can all of our citizens have computers, multiple computers, your car can have multiple commuters, your bridge, your stove, is your telephone, but your dog can have a computer. well, your dog collar, or your
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contact lenses can have a computer. this is changing the way that we have to deal with all this information on the computers. all of those computers are talking to each other. so what this means is that there is another revolution. not only are we going from scarcity to plenty, but we will have a transition for how we interact with computers. i will refer to the past -- leading right up today. usually we poke our computers. --ve gotten pretty advanced when my mother was programming, if you have these punched card data. we've definitely put that in the trash can. you had this elegant flick of the rest is our finger runs
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across the screen. but that is still poking the computer. the question is, what comes next? the idea of next is moving from a computer the words on a command to a computer that works on your past. -- on you behest. we've talked about computers looking for the electric shorts getting your dinner information from your friend. exampleke that dinner and take it to another level. you're already where you can type in restaurants, poking at, it will tell you come at it will discover you are in washington, and give you information. that is working on your behalf. this take it a step further.
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what if the fund was tracking and since in your behavior over time and the pattern recognition. my son might know that my home base is washington, d.c., this is where i live. one day it takes him with the satellite and we were in seattle, washington, where i go regularly. it looks around and says, it is about 5:30 p.m. local time, she is not where she usually is, she my water recommendation. he goes into the calendar, and she keeps asian food a lot, call center some recommendations for asian restaurants. vietnamese and chinese and reminder of the indian place she a debt last time, and may be delicate the social network and look at recommendations, or maybe get
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some postcards from seattle, and may be a lot check reservations. and then it might send me a note saying, here are some ideas. that is one decision, but it can apply to other things. from an earlier topic, health care. imagine you have elderly people living alone. everyone has seen the ads, the button they can wear around the neck. they pollinate and press a button. -- they fall and they can press a button. let's get new ones. that is what this technology allows you to do -- let's get nuance. you can have motion sensors to determine what room people are in. you have sensors that provide
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information about things like blood several levels. this is not happening tomorrow this is in the future. reggie white blood sugar levels. -- like blood sugar levels.
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for the past year, i had been honored to serve as a commissioner at the federal trade commission, the nation by three leading consumer protection agency. i am pleased to say that my consumer protection family is right here with me, helping me and my federal trade commission colleagues take on the tough issues that and that consumers do out the country. i am often asked about the difference between working with
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the state attorneys general and the state commission. the ftc is the second baseman. the second baseman's role in the classic double play as complex. we catch what the consumers and the state attorneys general toss us by following up on local trends ended taking big campaigns against them national. we campaigned on issues such as online privacy, credit reporting, advertising substantiation, green marketing, telemarketing, debt collection, and competition in health care and high-tech industries. we are fighting to end abusive sweetheart deals between pharmaceutical companies that keep low-cost generics off the market, costing consumers $3.50 billion every year in higher
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drug costs. we give consumers the tools and information they need to protect themselves from the cheap, trying to steal second base. programs like our no call list -- the most popular government programs as the elvis stamp. [laughter] one paying every second baseman has to watch out for is the rommel who takes advantage of a nearsighted umpire where a cloud of dust to come at second base with spikes up. the economic downturn has provided just that sort of opportunity for skimmers to try to squeeze the last dying out the financially strapped and desperate families. at the s.p.c., one of our core goals is to take the streets out of the game. last june, the ftc announced an
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action against countrywide home loans, a mortgage servicing subsidiary of bank of america. we claimed that countrywide's loan servicing operations charged home owners who were behind on their mortgage payments outrageous, inflated fees -- fees that often added up to hundreds or even thousands of dollars per consumer for such routine services as property inspections and lawn at knowing which were meant to protect the lender's interest in the property. the more the market -- the more homeowners fell into the -- the more countrywide improperly profited. the ftc got $108 million of those games back from countrywide and are now working to return the money back to consumers. just this december, the ftc
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broke up a massive internet marketing rain that targeted consumers do were desperate for cash. the ringleader, jeremy johnson, created a tangled web of over 60 shell companies that lured consumers into trial memberships for government grants getting and work at home money-making. he charged a monthly fees for memberships never ordered and services never rendered. he bilked consumers out of approximately $275 million. all the while, johnson led a life of luxury. in addition to a garage full of expensive cars, johnson allegedly has six helicopters, three airplanes, several high- end properties, including an extravagant, 22,000 square foot home that cost $8 million to
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build, and a taste for high stakes gambling on line and in las vegas. i am really happy to report we definitely got the out in this case. a federal judge has entered a preliminary injunction against johnson's operation, shutting it down, appointing a receiver, and freezing the assets for future distribution to his victims. [laughter] our staff was really fabulous on this case. of course, the second baseman will frequently get his out with the help of his shortstop. the ftc fight some of its biggest battles with the help of our partners in the states. two weeks ago we announced "operation empty promises." it targeted scammers like jeremy johnson to falsely promised
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consumers that they could make thousands of dollars in allegedly guaranteed jobs and work at home opportunities. operation empty promises included three new enforcement actions by the federal trade commission, 28 actions by states attorney generals, 48 criminal prosecutions, and seven civil actions by the federal inspection service. we also worked with seven of our state partners to win a final judgment in a case against a payment process are responsible for funneling tens of millions of dollars from consumers and to coffers of scam artists. last august, the ftc and 24 states carried out "operation health care puzzle." i love that name. it was a coordinated law enforcement sweep involving a
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total of 54 lawsuits and actions against medical discount plans that masqueraded as health care insurance. together, the ftc and the states have also targeted mortgage modification and foreclosure rescued scams that prey on desperate consumers who are in fear of losing their homes. they collect large up-front fees in exchange for the false promise that they can prevent a consumer's foreclosure. in february 2008, the ftc brought 30 enforcement actions targeting foreclosure rescues and mortgage modification fraud. the states have brought over 200 and there are more in the works. as we cooperated with our state partners to shut down the skimmers to claim they can help consumers erase their credit- card debt and more. over the past decade, the ftc
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and state enforcers have brought 260 cases to stop debt relief providers focused on consumers and financial -- in financial distress. because we have seen a spike in the harm to consumers, last year the ftc promulgated regulations that require those who teach mortgage assistant and debt relief services to deliver on their promises before they can collect one dime from consumers. i had been particularly impressed with the value placed on cooperation with the states to help the federal trade commission, by federal commissioners, and by our competition and consumer protection attorneys at both the management levels and the staff levels. on many occasions, friends from the state enforcement community have complemented federal trade
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commission efforts to coordinate with the states in enforcement initiatives. this is exactly how it should be. it is an accomplishment of which i am very proud. of course, it is great when the short, -- when the shortstop and second baseman work together. that is became only one out. luckily for consumers, there is a new player on the team. the dodd-frank reform act has given us our new first baseman. a new agency charged with protecting consumers in the credit and financial markets -- the bureau of consumer financial protection. i know some of you out there are going to argue that playing first base is for big hitters who cannot handle the outfield. i humbly disagree. as the first basement of the st.
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louis nationals nearly 100 years ago, the clever first baseman knee's all the speed, the arm, and the head is compressed into service. let me add to that -- be reached. an effective first baseman should have long arms. the new bureau will present all of that. it will have rulemaking authority with regard to unfair, deceptive, or abusive practices by banks and pretty much anyone else providing consumer financial products or services with a few key exceptions. the bureau will have the right to examine the books but most of these institutions and of enforce the laws against them if they are found to be in violation. most importantly in this town, the bureau will have a substantial budget equal to 10% of the federal reserve budget
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and automatically delivered without having to go to the appropriations process. that gives every other governmental agency, including mine, budget in the. -- budget envy. the bureau will inherit employees from other agencies that will hire other new ones. that does not mean the bureau will be working in the field alone. the state attorneys general and the federal trade commission will continue in our position, playing to our strength, and with the help of a smart and powerful bureau at first base, keep turning those double plays for consumers. for example, the states are particularly well equipped to take an active role in resolving individual disputes between consumers and businesses by in their communities. the state attorneys general are best poised to go after certain
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types of companies such as insurers and nonprofit organizations that may be outside the jurisdiction of the federal trade commission and the bureau. the bureau can reach some of the players that the ftc and the states cannot. in particular, large, federally chartered banks. with respect to the other arenas in which scammers work, the ftc maintains its entire enforcement jurisdiction. in addition, dodd-frank gives enhanced rulemaking authority with regard to automobile dealerships. you are seeing abuses in the auto financing industry that are like many we saw in the mortgage industry. things like undisclosed add ons
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and fees. the ftc recently announced that we will be taking a good hard look at those sorts of practices in order to protect the car- buying consumer. some in the business community are worried that in the many areas in which the bureau, the ftc, and the states will have overlapping jurisdiction the agencies will unfairly overwhelm industry players. while i understand these concerns, i believe everyone, consumers and producers, have a strong interest in ensuring a fair market play. business is playing by the rules do not -- the actions that the consumer protection agencies are
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not doing are shutting down business. we are clearing be seas of cheese and frauds out of the marketplace so honest businesses blame by the rules can't continue to serve their customers. consumers can feel safe and secure when they shop on the corner, at the mall, or online. unfortunately, there are so many to take out that the federal trade commission and the new bureau will be far too busy to double- team legitimate business. just to make sure, dodd-frank requires the ftc and the new bureau to put a memorandum of understanding in place to make certain that neither government nor business resources are wasted. in other words, we are not going to be turning any -- plays against businesses that play
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fair because they are on our team. -- turning any double plays against businesses that played fair because they are on our team. the economic downturn has stifled too many families. the wave of technological innovation that has brought so many exciting ways to communicate and work and recreates also carries with it new opportunities for scammers to take the last dollar from these consumers. protecting the vulnerable consumers is not a game. baseball has search for a metaphor for america life almost as long as apple pie. the surge by 18 as coordinated, as colorful, and as successful as the double play trio.
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we at the ftc and our partners in the state attorneys general offices and at the new bureau of consumer financial protection can be that team. thank you again for the invitation to speak to you today. thank you for listening, but most importantly, thank you again for the work that you do. i look forward to working with all of you in the coming months and years. [applause] >> we have time for two questions. [laughter] rose married? -- rosemary? >> we are thrilled that the ftc has rulemaking authority over the car dealers. could you comment a little more on the kinds of packages you been hearing about? >> i have been meeting with a
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number of consumer groups, advocates of families in the military and industry players who have raised some very interesting and troubling concerns. concerns along the line of undisclosed ways in which financing is constructed. consumers not realizing they are being charged rates that are much higher than they might otherwise receive. at on fees. as i said, many of the practices we have seen in the mortgage industry over the past few years. as you mentioned, we have now been giving rulemaking authority to focus on some of the altar- dealer practices that are potentially most troubling. we are going to be holding a
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series of round tables. the first one will be april 12 in detroit, of course. we will be bringing together consumer groups, consumer advocates, industry players, financing folks to talk about some of the things we have been seen. i just want to mention one aspect of this that i mention very briefly a moment ago. that is the impact on the military. we have heard a lot about practices of dealerships that seem to bring military bases. if you get to military bases around the country, you can see a lot of all to dealerships around them. a number of enlisted men and women are having their first paycheck for the first time and may not be as educated as we would hope they are about how to purchase an automobile and how to go about making sure it will be a purchase that is worth
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the money. then they go overseas and things start happening with this purchase that can affect military readiness. it is something that is on their mind. their car may be taken away. it may be taken away from their family. there are also issues around that. general petraeus has been thinking a lot about these issues on behalf of the new bureau as well. we are going to try to take a look at all of these issues through our workshop and determine what kind -- what we will be engaged in. >> my name is john. i direct a fraud center. you mentioned working with the state attorneys general's. they do amazing work every day to shut down scammers. the main frustration we hear from consumers is their inability to go after scammers
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overseas. it is a huge issue for us. i was wondering what you at the ftc in coordination with the partners overseas are doing now and what you think could be done better to get a handle on what is a growing problem. >> that is a great question. should i repeat the question? was everybody able to hear? it really has to do with focusing on scammers overseas. it is a great question. the u.s. web at which was about 40 years ago was designed to clarify that the ftc has full jurisdiction over on- line scam artists who are affecting u.s. citizens. to the extent that there are entities outside the country that are obtaining money
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inappropriately from consumers to the kind of scams we been talking about this morning, we have full jurisdiction to go after them. we also have a very extensive program at the ftc to work with our partners in other countries whether they are seeking information on the u.s. players that are affecting their citizens were whether we need their help to go after the folks who are out of this country affecting u.s. citizens. we recently bought a case involving some base security and privacy issues with respect to a company that was here in the united states that was only affecting u.k. consumers, not u.s. consumers. we had a pretty good track record of dealing with international issues. to say. i am sure there are lots of people who wish we could do more. i wish we could do more.
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i think the tools we need to start this activity are being put in place. the state attorneys general are a little bit more hampered because they do not have the kind of relations that we have. we have an office of international affairs that works very hard in this area. the states do not have that luxury. to the extent that there are scams that are affecting citizens in states, what i would encourage this for the local law us know about it. at the ftc, we have more tools to do with things on the international front. thank you. >> let's all, once again, thank julie brill. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011]
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>> next, secretary of state hillary clinton previews the president's trip to south america and latin america. after that, general david petraeus on afghanistan. then, live at 7:00 a.m., your calls and comments on "washington journal." >> this weekend on a road to the white house, herman cain on the economy and whether he will run for the republican nomination. >> the feedback we have gotten from people across the country, tens of thousands who are willing to volunteer. >> this sunday at 6:00 27:30 p.m. eastern and pacific. >> secretary of state hillary
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clinton says latin america can serve as a model for democratic movements across the globe. yesterday she responded to critics of the president of the upcoming trip to the region. the president will visit brazil, chile, and san salvador -- el salvador. this event takes place at the center for strategic and international studies. it is about 30 minutes. >> i want to thank knack for his introduction. he is a longtime friend. you are guaranteed if he does
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not provide embarrassing detail to have a positive preludin. i can think of no one more fitting than mack to have provided that opening. he is a longtime champion of u.s. engagement in latin america and did an excellent job as my husband's on voyager in the clinton administration. my thanks also to you for your generosity in hosting us this afternoon. as an institution that is focused on not just the day-to- day form policy, but also on the deeper forces and dynamics that shape it, this is an ideal place to discuss what i see as one of the central, a strategic opportunities for the united states today. obviously, there is a lot going on around the world. as much -- there is much that demands our urgent attention.
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the historic changes in the middle east and north africa to the tragedy unfolding in japan. as i also say, we have to deal with both the urgent and important at the same time. with president obama departing for brazil in just a few hours, now is a good time to turn our attention from the urgent events of the day and consider it another important part of the world. the president's trip coincides with the anniversary of a major milestone in hemispheric relations. 50 years ago, president kennedy lost the alliance for progress, pledging that the united states would join with latin american leaders to address a development challenge that was, as he put it, staggering in its dimensions. he understood that our failure to tackle poverty and inequality
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in latin america could tear the social fabric and undercut democracy prospects throughout the hemisphere. president kennedy announced the alliance here in washington to an audience of latin american ambassadors at the white house. president obama will mark this anniversary in latin america. i think that is fitting. two -- too few americans have noticed that something remarkable has been happening in the region. there are, of course, plenty of challenges. they all went hog the headlines. transnational crime, continuing inequality and poverty, inadequate education, and so on. those are challenges that apply in many cases, including in our own country. but the real story of latin america today runs i get a very different direction.
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it is a story of political transition and a broad commitment to democratic development. a story of a pragmatic leaders who helped turn a once troubled region and to an area of dynamic, 21st century economies and societies. a story of active players on the global stage. i in the coming days, president obama will visit three countries -- brazil, chile, and el salvador. each is living this story in unique ways. the president will build on the pledge he made at the summit of the americas early in his presidency to work as equal partners in a new chapter of engagement based on mutual respect and common interest and shared values. heeds and the three leaders of hosting them will show how much such a partnership can't
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accomplish. but i want to focus on why this partnership matters to us. what this story means for the united states -- for our economic interest as we rebuild our economy and rebuild our competitors for a new time, for our security -- for our security and global strategic interest as we design a 21st century architecture with the help of like-minded partners, for our core values as we promote democracy and human rights around the world, and for our society and our culture as a growing connection between our people make us more vital and enervated. during the past two years, i have had the opportunity to travel the hemisphere and meet with presidents and foreign ministers, journalist and ceos,
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activist and of entrepreneurs. last summer, the washington post never did i had visited 17 countries in latin america and the caribbean during my first few months in office. i am proud to hold that record. but what really matters is the common purpose behind these trips and president obama's, both during our current partnerships in latin america and highlighting the remarkable opportunities we have to accomplish even more together. let's start with economic opportunities. this is the challenge on every one of three minds today and for very good reason. there are still too many americans out of work. our recovery from the financial crisis is far from complete. in this year's state of the union address, president obama laid out an agenda for how we will emerge from the crisis stronger than before, how
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america will win the future. i share president obama's optimism. but as certain as we are a big goal, it is not something america can't accomplish alone. enhancing our competitiveness, achieving energy security, and expanding our exports -- all of these require robust engagement with latin america. it is not only the developing economy of asia that are aiding the global recovery today, it is also the economies of our neighbors. brazil, with nearly 8% gdp growth last year, is predicted to become the world's fourth or fifth largest economy in the coming decade. peru has been growing at rates which typically associate with china and india. chile, argentina, and uruguay are close behind followed by mexico, panama, and columbia. the combined economies of latin
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america grew 6% last year. this, coupled with policies, led for this to be called the start of a latin-america decade. this is good news for the people of latin america as well as for the united states. taken as a whole, the latin american economy is nearly three times the size of india or russia and not far behind china and japan. latin america has a huge advantage that will serve it well in the coming decades -- a young population. if the countries of the region succeed in delivering education for their young people, they will have a significant aged four years to come over other major economies that are starting to feel the strain of
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an aging population. the size of the latin america economy and its young demographics are of great importance to the united states. our economy is tied much more closely to the economies of our neighbors than to those across the ocean. 43% of all of our exports stay in the western hemisphere. we export more than three times as much to latin america than we do to china. i want to repeat that because i do not think there are very many americans to understand or know that. we export more than three times as much to latin america it than we do to china. we export more to latin america than to europe and more to jail late for columbia then to russia. north america is the largest free-trade area in the world. all of these facts point to a
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very promising trend. latin america is producing more and more new consumers for american products each year. tens of millions of people are entering the middle class. more than 30 million in brazil alone since 2003. at the same time, latin america is all too dynamic companies, entrepreneurs, and innovators who are purchasing technology and equipment and helping drive innovation in american businesses. the bottom line is that geography matters. it is a comparative advantage to be embraced and we neglect it at our own peril. growth in the latin american markets stand to benefit american workers and markets more than growth anywhere else in the world. it is the power of proximity -- geographic proximity -- and also the proximity of our global
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economic interests and our challenges at home and what it will take to overcome them. both our government and private sector needs to direct our efforts to harness the power of proximity. i do understand the concerns of those who worry that globalization and integration will take jobs away from americans. but i also note that with the right policies we can challenge recruit -- wiccan channel those policies to create more and better jobs for the benefit of american workers. let the american auto industry. it is integrating more closely with our neighbors. assembling a car today involves material inputs that cross borders several times before a finished product roles of the assembly line. our workers are the better for it.
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take one of brazil's biggest exports -- exporters -- a jet manufacturer. the u.s. amounts to 65% of its sales. most of the parts put into the plane are made in the united states. these economic relations are not see wrote some. they ultimately benefit the people of each country. monterrey, mexico is becoming a base for research and development. brazil's economic research and investment has helped turn it into one of the top two suppliers in the world. issued one the. largest stock offerings ever last year. rio will soon host the world summit at the olympics. american companies will also be there. our energy security depends on
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this hemisphere. it is the source of one-half of our oil imports. latin america alone accounts for one-third of our imported oil with mexico our second-biggest supplier. you probably know that venezuela is also a major source. did you know that columbia is now as well? brazil is poised to become one of our top suppliers. as we move towards a clean energy economy, latin america's role will have to grow. already we are working on renewable energy technology and resources in mexico, brazil, the caribbean, and across the region thanks in part to president obama's leadership. many other players are also recognizing latin america's potential. they are making their own
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inroads. they are citing their own investment deals and free trade -- free trade agreements. that should not worry us. rather, it should spur us on. president obama's national export initiative is promoting american jobs. as productivity rises, companies need fewer employees to meet their goals. to create more jobs, we have to expand our existing trade relationships and create new ones. that is why a broad cross- section of businesses from high- tech companies to heavy equipment manufacturers to the montana grain growers all support the trade agreements with colombia and panama. they know that opening these markets is essential to our own jobs, and competitive business. -- and competitiveness. earlier this month, we took a
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significant step in finally resolving the longstanding dispute over trucking under nafta. strengthening our economic relationship has benefits for all the people of the region, but it also has another in advantage. it leads to the rise of even more capable partners who can help us accomplish our strategic objective of addressing the challenge of climate change to improving security in the region. that is the second area i want to talk about -- the opportunity to partner with latin america on global strategic issues. president obama's visit occurs at a time when there is slowing -- growing recognition that the hemisphere stand to gain from growing cooperation. governments and societies each bring their own capabilities to solve common problems. when we think about addressing the serious challenges of drug
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trafficking and criminal violence, for example, countries such as chile and colombia have much to share about the process of training effective, accountable police and judges in central america. when it comes to promoting social inclusion, brazil and barbados have set enviable examples. just as latin america goes global, building its ties with europe and africa, asia and the middle east, so will our relationship. it will be about how we can work together in the world on issues in particular to our region. these countries will make it essential contributions to help all of us meet those important challenges. mexico, for example, made a crucial contribution to the fight against climate change to its remarkable leadership in
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cancun last year. brazil, mexico, and argentina in the g-20. chile and mexico in the trans- pacific partnership. these are all helping build a foundation for a balanced global growth, a transparent global economy, and broad-based opportunities. colombia and brazil are vital partners this year on the u.s. security council. uruguay cents more troops per- capita than any other country. coaster rica is working to become the -- coaster rica is working to become the most neutral -- costa rica is working to become the most neutral place on earth.
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as vibrant a picture as the hemisphere presents, it has not yet realize its full global potential. it is very much in our interest to help our latin-american partners further embraced an active and constructive global role. let me hasten to add, this does not mean that we will always agree, but we will agree much more often than not. even when we disagree, we will never lose sight of the powerful interest and core values that connect us. one of our most important, powerful bonds is our commitment to democracy. that brings me to the third opportunity we have in our engagement in the region. latin america has undergone such a profound democratic transformation that it can now be a model and even a mentor for those fighting to create and
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protect democracy everywhere. before theorget that middle east, it was latin america that people dismissed as arid ground for democracy. we can still recall a time when dictators and strong men dominated the hemisphere. plenty of americans thought that friendly autocrats were the best we could ever hope for. but citizens coming together, asserting their fundamental rights in the face of autocrats and military governments overcame the doubts of the world and the challenges of transition to build democracies that deliver results. the very ideals we hope for in egypt and tunisia. they have already taken place in our own hemisphere. this task is not finished and in
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this hemisphere can do much more to guard against threats and challenges to democracy closer to home. in some countries, insecurity and a lack of opportunity remain real obstacles. in others, democracy is being rolled back rather than strengthened. cuba remains a glaring exception to the democratic conversion. that is something that all of us have to face up to and work toward dealing with. but the overall direction is clear -- the region's commitment to democratic development is widespread and strong. that gives all americans a special role in helping support other nations making the difficult transition to democracy today. in recent weeks we've seen some promising examples of just that. veterans of chile's democratic transition have already visited cairo to talk about the importance of strong
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institutions, advancing reconciliation, and ensuring that democracy delivers results. mexico took the lead in suspending libya from the human rights council. i would add that we in the united states can also learn some things from latin american democracy as well. one example i particularly like is the encouraging number of female presidents in the region. [laughter] [applause] i must say that i am far enough away from my own career in politics that i will not take too much heat for suggesting that these women can teach american voters a thing or two. finally, i want to emphasize that all of these opportunities are strengthened by the interdependence of our societies, our cultures, and our people. the u.s. has one of the largest populations in the world. females are the fastest-growing
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group in our country today. we share a rich heritage. more than half of our foreign- born population has roots in latin america. these ties have shaped every aspect of our society and culture and we are the better for it. i know that immigration and interdependence can bring real challenges and that they do make a lot of americans anxious. that is understandable. but immigration has always been a source of our vitality and innovative spirit. if we work together to address these challenges, i have no doubt that this will continue to be an enormous advantage for the united states -- one that bears directly and crucially on our economic and geopolitical prospects. we cannot afford to surrender
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that advantage now. going forward, all of these areas of opportunity will also be a roadmap for our engagements and president obama will highlight each of them during his trip. in brazil he will announce new economic opportunities and discuss new ways we can work together on our court challenges in energy, innovation, education, and beyond. he will go to jail late to exercise our fundamental values and shared commitments to democracy. he will point to the importance of latin america's broad commitment to democratic development. in el salvador he will show how we can do our part on meeting be shared challenges of security and development in a country that has shown the will to move forward. ultimately all of these partnerships boil down to this
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-- seizing the phenomenal opportunities we now have in this region. the opportunity to create jobs and drive development. the opportunity to secure democratic process in our hemisphere and, together, foster it beyond. the opportunity to advance human security in all this for -- all this forms. adjusting unacceptable levels of violence or unacceptable levels of inequality. it includes growth for everyone. in looking for opportunities abroad, it can be a tough sell here at home, especially at a time of strained budgets and high unemployment. i know well how danger, up prices, and catastrophe can take over your week -- week after week after week. [laughter]
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that is why district, which some question, "how can the president go to latin america on this long trip with everything happening from japan to the middle east and north africa?" is being answered in the right way. as the experts here will tell you, strategy depends on the ability to look deeper and further than the day-to-day. there are so many reasons why this trip at this time decision is so important. it is just one way of putting it into context. when i think about why we should invest in our relationship to latin america, i think about the path that columbia has traveled. i remember vividly when my daughter and husband visited in
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2000, when columbia it was just beginning. it was a country terrorized by drug traffickers and guerrillas who controlled vast parts of territory and you could strike in any major city. foreign policy experts were calling it a failed state. 10 years later, i travel to colombia as secretary of state. this time i walked the streets of downtown bogota. i visited a bakery run by foreign military -- by former military members. it is not everyday use apple the goods of former guerrillas. [laughter] i sat down with the foreign minister and the president. columbia's security challenges were still very real, but there
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were only a part of the discussion. we spent more time talking about how columbia and the united states could work together to take the agenda it further, to solve global and regional problems from climate change to partnering in the security council to expanding economic growth and about what columbia could do to help central america and mexico in meeting their own security challenges. we talked about how we could even be ties between our societies and advance our shared values and about what would be achieved when columbia host next year's summit of the americas. we talked about the inclusion and human rights agenda that president santos is now advancing with extraordinary commitment and results. columbia, in short, has gone from a source of danger to itself and others to a source of
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inspiration to all of us and to becoming a vital partner in the great debate of our time. the real credit goes to the colombian people and to the leaders who had to make very hard choices, not just once or twice, but over and over again. the united states played an important, some would say an essential, role. the money we invested in plant columbia over that decade while significant, was less than we spend in afghanistan in a single week. when president obama returns from latin america, we will -- we will have set the stage for more stories like columbia in the years ahead. stories with powerful implications for trade and jobs,
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for education and innovation, for many advances in human potential that we will be so proud to see and we will benefit from. he will have invested in key relationships and deliver a message of partnership throughout the hemisphere. it is a message we must here at home. -- hear at home. these are opportunities we cannot afford to pass up or let them pass us by. the world is so dynamic right now. events are moving so quickly. people are so connected in ways that could not have been imagined a decade ago. what i am not sure yet that many americans understand is that if you are not in the mix, if you are not in the arena, if you are not reaching out and building
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those relationships on an ongoing basis, you'll find that others have stepped in to do just that. there is no part of the world that is more closely linked with the we are as americans and what kind of future we want for our children than this hemisphere and, in particular, in latin america. i am excited that in the midst of another unbelievable week in the world, the president is off on a trip that will take them to three important countries to send a message to all the others and that i had this opportunity to discuss with you why we think it is one of the most important long-term commitments that the united states has and must continue to follow through on. thank you very much. [applause]
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>> president obama will spend the next four days visiting with south american and latin american leaders. his first stop is brazil where he will meet with the president. on sunday, he would deliver a speech in rio de janeiro. on monday he meets with the president of july in santiago. tuesday and wednesday he is in el salvador. he will visit the mayan ruins before returning to washington. you can view coverage of the president of the trip here on the c-span networks. >> general david petraeus said he did not think u.s. participation in the no-fly zone in libya would have any impact on the war in afghanistan.
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the general also recommitted to support for the drawdown of u.s. troops. general petraeus is in washington to report to the president and congress about the state of the war in afghanistan. this is just over one hour. >> we want to thank general petraeus and his team for helping build this event. a special thanks to the ceo, charles over be, too is not here, but we are indebted to him for the facilities and the arrangements.
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another special thank-you to the foundation. this is a ritualistic thing. please silence your cell phones, i phones, and every other electronic device so it does not interfere with the conversation. you have the ability to bring your own questions to general petraeus. the staff will circulate throughout the conversation, taking your questions. they will then be filtered -- not filtered, but applied [laughter] he said filtered earlier. as you can tell, i did not survive st. patrick's day and tact. they will not be filtered. they will be put into an ipad which i will then elegantly used later and we will have those questions and mind for general petraeus after the first half hour which will be led by
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michael. again, no filtering. if you are so motivated -- so motivated and/or twitters sadly, -- and are twitter savvy, at the hashtag mjpatreaus. -- mjpetraeus. >> it is a real treat to be here. it is a great honor to be with you today, general. thank you for what you are doing. the nisei a brief word of introduction about general petraeus. -- let me say a brief word of introduction about general petraeus. he is a 1974 graduate of west
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point. he had many positions of command and distinguished honors along the way. in 1983, he won the george marshall ward. he then went to princeton where i had the honor of knowing him in grad school. he did his ph.d. in about 2.5 years. he continues -- it continues to be a princeton record. general petraeus and some time teaching at west point. many of us know the story from that point on. i would just remind you that he is in his seventh diplomat now, including a deployment in haiti, a deployment in bosnia, three diplomats in iraq, and now his command position in afghanistan. the nimitz and some wars he has one. the as the d